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Thread: PC Engine Duo-R CD BGM playback stops arbitrarily

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    Question PC Engine Duo-R CD BGM playback stops arbitrarily

    For some time my PCE Duo-R has a problem where BGM/music playback just stops during gameplay. This is exclusive to CD games; all audio works perfectly with HuCard games. There are no apparent problems playing CD games though. I haven't put a lot of time into a CD game lately but I've never experienced a failure to actually play. If the game needs to load and play a new track for BGM it will kick in but eventually it will suddenly stop. It is somewhat random/unpredictable when the BGM suddenly disappears.

    Where should I begin to determine what needs repair? Should I just replace the capacitors? I've noticed some others talking about adjusting potentiometers as well? Where can I find documentation on these things based on what I should do next?

    I've also seen someone speak of an eBay seller, turbografxfan who sells repair services. While I have done some initial practice work with a soldering iron and wick assembling a digital LCD clock (DIY kit, about 12cm long) I will need to review what work is in store for recapping a Duo-R before deciding to install caps myself or purchase professional-grade repair labour.

    Lastly any tips on identifying cold solder joints? I used to think there was an issue with the A/V cable connector but last play, the console did great so I'm not sure. Probably just multimeter-based testing. I need a new multimeter that can actually identify continuity. Thanks for any tips/docs!

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    if youre willing to wait, Analogue is releasing the Duo supposedly this year (but honestly I think itll be more likely the first half of 2022). I cant give any advice on soldering or repair because im not the best at it myself.

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    The 4558 opamps are failing, these are responsible for redbook audio from the CD drive and cause the symptoms you describe. Look at IC203 in particular on the board and see if the text on the chip surface looks faded compared to the others, or if any other instance of this chip elsewhere looks 'cooked.' There's one around/under the power supply/voltage conditioning circuit that gets overheated sooner than the rest. You're probably better off replacing all of them, they're 8-pin surface mount chips. If a capacitor replacement hasn't been performed at this point you should expect corrosion from leaked electrolytic as well.

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    Been a long time. Now I have many hours of soldering experience. Conquered two practice boards, recapped 4 Game Gears successfully among other repairs to fully restore them and even built a fully custom one, and built a custom GBA with upgrades too.

    Opened up the Duo-R, reflowed all the pins for the A/V connector. Absolute piece of cake. Not having any issues. I played Valis III like 2 hours and not a single issue loading audio. No sign of capacitor issues anywhere -- even the repairman said Duo-R's are much better and typically don't have an expectation of requiring a recap because the hardware is better. Nevertheless I could easily recap this thing myself; after doing multiple GGs honestly I think I can recap anything. Mega CD regular Duo's etc.

    So my tip to anyone having minor A/V issues, wiggle your A/V cable behind the console and see if it causes any interruption to the signal. If it does, reflow the pins for the connector. Cold joints are responsible. If you can handle a soldering iron at all, you are equipped to perform the task.
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    Last edited by FoxNtd; 01-09-2023 at 08:36 PM.

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